Global health challenges
Once the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Ebola as an international public health emergency on 8 August 2014, our members stood ready to contribute with our knowledge, expertise, and support.
Throughout the Ebola crisis (2014-2015) in West Africa, our members worked closely with WHO and other stakeholders:
to accelerate the development of Ebola vaccines/treatments;
to meet the urgent health and humanitarian needs in West Africa.
A fast track plan to develop Ebola vaccines: From September 2014 on, WHO carried out a series of consultations to assess the status of experimental Ebola vaccines. The outcome was a plan to speed up the development of two of the most advanced vaccines that have been identified by then. The plan also committed the WHO to work with all relevant stakeholders to accelerate the development of these vaccines for their safe use in the affected countries: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. First safety data for these vaccines were available early 2015 and an emergency immunization program in priority healthcare workers began soon after.
Ebola capacity building: By the same token, while vaccines and treatment are key in fighting the Ebola outbreak, effective clinical care, rigorous infection prevention and control, careful contact tracing and follow-up, effective risk communication, and social mobilization, are all essential in fighting and ending these outbreaks and had been therefore also prioritized. This is precisely where our members had to contribute financially and with knowledge and expertise to support front-line health workers and counter the Ebola outbreak.
Ebola virus disease, or Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness if left untreated and above all, highly contagious, even when dealing with dead bodies. Ebola fatality rate of the current outbreak was around 70%; the average rate in past outbreaks has varied from 25% to 90%.
Died in the largest & most complex Ebola outbreak in West Africa
Died in Liberia alone
Ebola virus first discovered